5 Tips to Up Your ‘Habit’ Game
Editor’s Note: this post is inspired by Scott H. Young’s blog post, “18 Habits to Make New Habits Stick.” As the New Year is underway, here are experimentally-backed ways to encourage your habits to stick around.
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”
– Brian Tracy –
Main point: hack your way to making and keeping habits
Did you know that the human body thrives in consistent conditions? From a regular sleep-wake time to eat-fast intervals, we tend to feel calm and happy when in a predictable routine.
As January wraps up, here are 5 evidence-based hacks to maintain your habits.
Get a Buddy
Are you learning to rock-climb? Find a friend who’s interested in learning and schedule a “climbing date” with them on a weekly basis.
Find someone who will join you in forming the new habit and keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.
Form a Trigger
What do you do to fire a gun? You pull the trigger. A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit.
If you wanted to exercise in the morning, this could mean setting your gym shoes where your feet will land on the floor in the morning.
If you want to quit smoking, practice snapping your fingers each time you feel the urge to pick up a cigarette.
Try using this habit-changing therapist recommended technique for changing bad thought patterns. When you start to think negative thoughts, use the word “but” to interrupt it. “I’m no good at this, but, if I work at it, I might get better later.”
Associate with Role Models
Spend more time with people who model the habits you want to mirror. Form friendships with those who you want to be like, whether that is spiritually, mentally, physically, or relationally. You become what, or who, you spend time around.
Know the Benefits
If you’re like me, you love knowing the “why” of every part of your lifestyle. If you know that the “why” behind a new habit is important for you to commit to it, embrace it.
Familiarize yourself with the benefits of making a change.
If you’re ditching diets and embracing a plant-based life, try reading Dr. Gregor’s “How Not to Diet.”
Main point: Decrease the activation energy needed to act out a new habit
Question to Ponder
What is the one hack I can use so that by doing so other hacks are unnecessary or less needed to help me form a habit?